Joh 15:1-17 chiastic structure:
1a) Joh 15:1-6, I am the vine/ Abide in Me that you may bear much fruit;
1a) Joh 15:1-2, I am the true vine/ Every branch that does or does not bear fruit;
central axis) Joh 15:3, You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you;
2a) Joh 15:4-6, I am the vine + you are the branches/ Abide in Me, that you may bear much fruit;
1b) Joh 15:7, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you;
1c) Joh 15:8a, By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit;
1d) Joh 15:8b, So you will be My disciples;
1e) Joh 15:9, As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love;
1f) Joh 15:10, If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
central axis) Joh 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full;”
2f) Joh 15:12a, This is My commandment, that you love one another;
2e) Joh 15:12b-13, As I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends;
2d) Joh 15:14-15, You are My friends if you do what I command you;
2c) Joh 15:16a, I chose + appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain;
2b) Joh 15:16b, That whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you;
2a) Joh 15:17, These things I command you, that you love one another.
The A pairs at first glance do not seem to match. But Joh 15:18 begins another structure that goes into chapter 16, so I assume the Joh 15:1 structure ends with Joh 15:17. This means that the surrounding elements have forced the pairs together, even though they do not seem to match. We have seen this many times before; it is the Scripture’s way of getting us to stop thinking like fallen humans and to seek God’s thoughts after Him.
As I considered it, I realized that Jesus was giving us a clue, how to obey His command to love one another. It is as we abide in Him, that we bear the fruit of love. But if we do not abide in Him, then we cannot bear the fruit He is seeking, because without Him we can do nothing.
The other thing which struck me this morning, is the Lord’s insistence, really, that we will have whatever we ask of Him – IF we abide in Him and bear His fruit, the fruit He is seeking.
Listen, we have all had experiences where we desired something earnestly from the LORD – needed something desperately that only He could do. I am thinking here of praying for the sick and seeing them rise up out of their beds and walk, of returning to the land of the living. Some doctrine teachers tell us that if it didn’t happen, it is because we did not have faith. Other doctrine teachers have said that the reason it doesn’t happen is because the gifts of power of the working of the Holy Spirit was only for the age of the apostles, and they have passed away. (Hmmm, some of those same doctrine teachers have told us obeying commandments have passed away too … we have to carefully discern what is the word of God and what is the word of man.)
But what does Jesus say? It will be done for you – IF you abide in Me and bear My fruit.
What if the real reason that the doctrine teachers missed, is that we were not abiding in Him and bearing His fruit? What if He means us to search and seek what He means by abiding in Him and bearing His fruit, so that the Father may give us what we ask of Him?